Center Point Way More Active in New Block F Design

Photo | Submitted With the addition of office space and a pedestrian entrance to the parking garage, Kimco’s design for its proposed six-story, mixed-use building offers a more walkable Center Point Way experience.

Photo | Submitted
With the addition of office space and a pedestrian entrance to the parking garage, Kimco’s design for its proposed six-story, mixed-use building offers a more walkable Center Point Way experience.

Kimco responded to community requests to preserve walkability along Center Point Way with an amended design for the Block F, 630 Center Point Way six-story, mixed-use building now in the city’s schematic development plan phase. Following discussion on Aug. 7, the Planning Commission moved to recommend approval to the Mayor and City Council.

The Mayor and City Council public record was held open until 5 p.m. on Aug. 14. A policy discussion is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 3.

Kimco’s new design, submitted to the city on July 16, reduces the unlined parking garage space along Center Point Way from 130 feet presented at the June 17 Mayor and City Council public hearing to 55 feet. In addition to retail space that wraps around the west corner of the building to extend 39 feet down Center Point Way and residential lobby space on the east end of the building that extends 81 feet down Center Point Way—both part of the building’s original design—plans now feature the addition of 63 feet of office space along Center Point Way, resulting in the reduction of six retail parking garage spaces.

A pedestrian entrance and vestibule with double glass doors has been added adjacent to parking entry on Center Point Way. Retail patron parking entry to the garage is 22 feet and retail loading entry to the garage is 19 feet.

Greg Mann, planner with the city, reported to the commission that “staff is happy with the addition of office space on Center Point Way.”

He noted that “Kimco is working with displaced tenants, including the Kentlands post office, to relocate them within the Kentlands Market Square shopping center.”

The block of retail beginning with Buca di Beppo and ending with Orangetheory Fitness will be demolished to make way for the new mixed-use building bringing 245 apartments, 12,150 square feet of ground-floor retail and office space.  Other issues discussed included the planned increase in retail parking from 811 surface spaces currently to 1,040 retail spaces with garage parking. A total of 943 spaces are required per city code. Kimco’s July 16 revised plan also notes that the former theater had 1,200 seats and Cinepolis will feature less than half that number at 515 seats.

Planning Commission member Ruthzaly Weich suggested that office space might extend the length of the garage on Center Point Way to eliminate the 55 feet of unlined garage frontage that remains. She also expressed concerns over the increased distance between the two-over-two condominiums and the new building—68 feet to 112 feet—turning the current lane into a street.

Caren Garfield, Kimco director of development for the Mid-Atlantic region, explained that because of rather dramatic grade changes on Center Point Way, extending the office space would necessitate two-level office space and change the design of the building. She also said that the wider lane was needed for residential parking garage access and loading for the residential building.

Building architecture is not considered until the city’s final site plan stage, but the Planning Commission agreed to begin to
define context for that discussion. Weich urged that the building architecture “be reflective of Kentlands.”

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